I know my productivity could be higher—I am the type of person who has always worked harder rather than smarter. In 2023, I am striving to make things easier for myself. Work from home is fantastic, but some people find the lack of structure, and freedom of choice, challenging. This can be true even for the most motivated and disciplined of people.
An increase in productivity can allow you to flourish in the side hustle you’ve always wanted to pursue, do more work in less time, and increase your sense of satisfaction as productive people are happier. The three best ways to increase your productivity and efficiency are to better manage your time, prioritize wisely, and healthy habits to provide a sturdy foundation for an efficient life.
Two minute rule
If you think of it and it takes less than two minutes, do it immediately.
Procrastination is the thief of joy. Similar to the two minute rule, Pomodoro timers can help you stay on task by having you work on tasks in 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. Every 4 intervals take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Moosti is one of my favorite Pomodoro apps
If I block out time, I’m more likely to do something. There are a lot of apps that do this such as Sunsama, and some apps that even have feature that take into account prioritization and so on. However, given that I do like some flexibility in my day,
Prioritization to increase productivity and efficiency
Prioritize your to do list.
Find a system that works for you. I was the type of person who made endless to do lists. I would start fresh when it would get overwhelming or tasks were outdated. Google docs with categories of “time sensitive,” “need to do,” “nice to do,” “later” and “optional.” Don’t forget to have a category labeled “done” as well so you can bask in your glory! Other apps I like include Clear, or Asana. Having a to do list can take off some of the mental load so you can focus on a task at hand rather than having future tasks occupying brain space.
Arrange into calendar or time blocks after prioritizing.
Think about what is the yucky stuff and do it first. Take 10 minutes and send the emails you’ve been putting off
Reduce stress by not staring at it all at once.
Prioritize on a higher level as well. An Eisenhower matrix can help you plan your projects at a higher level in order to not get bogged down in the day to day tasks only for larger initiatives.
It may sound cliche, but healthy habits are going to do wonders for your foundation for a productive day.
Your nighttime routine
As Mel Robbins discusses in her podcast, your morning routine sets the tone for your whole day and starts the night before.
This includes things like doing the dishes and tidying your space, and doing whatever you can to make life easier for you the next day–whether it be making the kid’s lunches, packing their backpacks, meal prepping for yourself, etc.
This also entails cutting out alcohol, and eliminating blue light an hour before bed and leaving your phone in another room.
Keep in mind that slow progress is still progress
I have a tendency to feel like I need to do everything every day to make progress, but then I feel incredibly scattered and a lot of things fall through the cracks. Something that helps me with that is choosing particular days of the week
Beating yourself up and self sabotaging does nothing and only slow progress. Journal regularly about what went well and where improvements could be made.
Self control apps / screentime apps. Make phone black and white.
Pair something you have to do with something you get to do
When feeling unmotivated, try to do something 1% better
Do what you can to be consistent, there is no panacea or one size fits all.